Nationals Ownership Rejected Bryce Harper Trade to Astros

The Athletic reported Saturday that the Astros and Washington Nationals had a deal in place for the All-Star right fielder at the non-waiver trade deadline only to see it vetoed by Washington ownership.

In hindsight, if they had acquired him, the entire MLB Postseason picture could've changed with the firepower of an addition like this.

For a contending team that was this focused on acquiring him, it could leave a lasting impression in the long run.

The team had agreed on the framework of deal that would have shipped Harper to the Astros for three minor league prospects, including righty J.B. Bukauskas and possibly catcher Garrett Stubbs to Washington.

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The Astros won a franchise-record 103 regular-season games and swept the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series before falling to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Championship Series. Adding Harper to the mix might have helped Dallas Keuchel to save a little face after his infamous "We're not the Cubs" quip following the Astros' 2017 title.

The Nationals had a second opportunity to trade Harper last season, this time to the Dodgers, but they were unwilling to accept LA's offer of Yasiel Puig.

The package was far better than the compensatory pick the Nationals will receive after the fourth round of the 2019 draft if Harper turns down their qualifying offer on Monday.

Harper already rejected an "aggressive" 10-year, $300 million contract offer by the Nationals in late September, opting instead to enter the free-agent market.

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